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Schlitz Gusto (Classic 1960's Formula) - JOS. Schlitz Brewing Co. (Pabst)

Not Rated.
Schlitz Gusto (Classic 1960's Formula)Schlitz Gusto (Classic 1960's Formula)

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420 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 420
Reviews: 240
rAvg: 3.55
pDev: 17.18%
Wants: 56
Gots: 20 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
JOS. Schlitz Brewing Co. (Pabst) visit their website
Illinois, United States

Style | ABV
American Adjunct Lager |  4.70% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
Brewed under contract for Pabst by Miller Brewing Co.

"Classic 1960's Formula" Schlitz Gusto reintroduced in 2008. 12 oz. bottles, 16 oz. "tallboy" cans, and draft.

Original Schlitz in 12 oz. cans and draft:

(Beer added by: Pauly2X on 08-13-2008)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 420 | Reviews: 240 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of ABOWMan
3.58/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a light golden brown with perfect clarity. Little head to speak of and what head there was disappated rapidly.

Pleasant grainy aroma with some roasted malt.

The taste is slightly sweet with nice malt balance. Little to no pronounced hop bitterness to speak of, but the flavor profile is pleasant and refreshing. There is some unique backgroung flavor that is similar to Stroh's "fire brewing" but I just can't put my finger on it.

Not a real lager fan but this Schlitz is a very drinkable refreshing beer.

ABOWMan, Jun 11, 2009
Photo of hwwty4
3.53/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured a 12oz bottle into my Boulevard chalice. This beer pours a crystal clear straw with just a slight white head that left no lacing. The aroma is sweet corn, crackers and just a whiff of grassy hops. The flavor follows suit with sweet corn dominating the flavor profile. Biscuits and crackers come out from the pale malts. There is definitely a kiss of grass/floral hops that come out at the very tail of the flavor profile. The mouthfeel is rather sweet for the style and doesn't finish with any of the dryness that's associated with the American Adjunct Lagers. Like most decently done Macro's, its easily drinkable, especially on a hot day. I have no problem with Macro Lagers, when they are decently well made and Gusto follows along those lines.

hwwty4, Jun 05, 2009
Photo of Natural510
3.4/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours the predictable pale gold, but with carbonation which quickly fizzes away and leaves no head or lacing at all.
Smells lightly malty and very grassy. Not too bad for the style.
Grassy flavor as well. Malts add a definitive granulated sugar sweetness. Very light hop residue can be discerned.
Does the job of a lager in the mouth, very crisp. Also, to my surprise, there's a decent hop bite which I didn't detect in the flavor.
Overall, one of the better American macro lagers. The grassiness borders on skunkiness and does wear on me a bit. Probably won't buy it again, but I can assume from the packaging their 60's formula is superior to their 2000's formula.

Natural510, Jun 05, 2009
Photo of Strix
4.53/5  rDev +27.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Clear straw color, head that eventually dissipates to nothing.

Grainy smell, notes of cheerios, corn, and a hint of hops.

Grain, water, ginger ale, and a subtle floral hop note. Not bad at all. In fact, if we're reviewing within style, it's stupendous. Palatable even when warm, imagine that.

Medium mouthfeel, not much carbonation.

Macros are always hard to review, compared to the more flavorful brews I generally drink. For the style, this is quite nice. It has just enough flavor to keep it interesting, and none of the off-flavors often found in the style. I probably won't sit and ponder the flavors of this again, but I'll be back to it when choices are limited.

Strix, May 25, 2009
Photo of Bitterbill
3.95/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

From my notes of July 18, 2008 before Schlitz 60s formula was entered.

This is the newly reformated 60s formula in a bottle and I got some in trade with Lofgrep. Thanks Peter!

Well, it pours pretty much the same in appearance except that I notice the head of foam is a good 2 finger with this one and the head retention is very good.

The nose has a similar maltiness to it but I'm also getting a decent amount of hop bitterness and that's a good thing.

Tastewise, The hops play a good role in the flavour as well as the nose. Sure, the malt is up front with some corny tones and some sweetish tones but dag nab it, then some nice hop bitterness moves in and it dominates the finish. Good aftertaste from those hops as well. A much better product than the cans that they have been putting out all these years and something that I could easily revisit. Darn drinkable and darn tasty. I like.

Bitterbill, May 23, 2009
Photo of Vancer
3.58/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Ah, the old Schlitz, looks just like I remember it back in the early 70s with the bold brown label.

Crystal clear straw yellow pour into the tall pilsner glass. One inch white head died quickly. Left a couple lace rings, thin, but there.

Cooked veggies and corn in the aroma. Quaff was old time Schlitz, plenty of gritty, grainy malt with a bite in the finish. Still a crisp and clean drinking beer.

Thanks for the Legend for the sample bottle.

Vancer, May 12, 2009
Photo of homebrewhawk
3.48/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

12oz brown bottle served in a pilsner glass. Pours a brilliant pale straw color with a finger of white head. A bit of sulfur and corn in the aroma. Also some noble hops. Sulfur fades quickly. Light bodied with plenty of carbonation. Crisp with a little bit of sweet malt. Fair amount of noble hop bite. Light and drinkable. I'm not sure what all the hype is about, give me a good Euro pilsner or helles over this any day.

homebrewhawk, May 10, 2009
Photo of roadhouse
3.6/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle into a pils glass

Pours a crystal clear pale yellow with a three-quarter inch white head. Not much active carbonation coming up to make it look great, which is one of the characteristics that I really like in the pale yellow lagers. Head falls to a skim and leaves moderate lacing.

Aroma is grainy, very clean overall, a bit of a lemony citric note.

Taste is actually pretty damn good. Not objectionable at all and easily the best of the style. It's clean as can be with a bit of sweet malt and a touch of hops, slight DMS, and a bit of lemon.

Mouthfeel is light bodied, pretty smooth and creamy, easy as hell to drink and not objectionable at all like most adjunct lagers.

While it's of course not even close to a Munich Helles or something, it actually has some flavor that isn't bad like most adjunct lagers. For the cheap price, it's not bad at all.

roadhouse, May 09, 2009
Photo of biggred1
3.98/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Clear, pale golden with a fizzy white head that quickly settles into a thin collar. Smells of untoasted grain and grits with a lemon citrus hop note. Tastes like a better version of every macro lager I've ever had, crisp and refreshing with soft lemon and hay flavors balanced nicely with mild hop bitterness. Medium bodied and well carbonated, finishes squeaky clean. Top of the heap in this category.

biggred1, May 01, 2009
Photo of jokelahoma
3.93/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured at Old Chicago in Olathe, KS.

Pours a beautiful gold, clear as a bell. Decent head that laces far better than one would expect.

Aroma is clean as can be. American malt and nothing else. no hop aroma, nor should there be.

Taste is nice. All barley, no corn or rice, and it shows. You listening InBev AB? Of course not. The beer is definitely sweet. Enough I put a shake ot two of salt in mine. But it's definitely all malt, and so much better for it. Clean, crisp, sweet. no hops at all, as per the American lager style. This is nice, in a twisted, no-big-flavor American lager kind of way.

Mouthfeel? Seriously? In an American lager? (yes, I rate to style. So should you!) It's non-existent. This is thin, and should be. Well done for what it is.

This is not the greatest beer EVAR!!!!111eleventy! But it is good for what it is, which is an all malt American lager. Rock your world? Hardly. But it may rock your summer cookout, if you're gutsy enough to let it. Not world class, but perhaps top of its class.

jokelahoma, Apr 29, 2009
Photo of DukeofAle
3.2/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

I'm old enough to remember when Schlitz was one of, if not the, best selling beers in the USA. "Go for all the gusto you can grab" was the slogan, I believe, ad their adds featured sailors in exotic ports. Anyway, more to the point; Schlitz pours a nice straw-golden color typical of American Lagers. There is little head and what there is rapidly thins to a trace. The taste is mild and not objectionable. The body is thin. There is little in the way of hop flavour or odor - but that is typical of the style. I would say it is a little better than average for this category. I keep some around to have when I'm in the mood for an AAL and for cooking ham.

DukeofAle, Apr 26, 2009
Photo of KI9A
3.48/5  rDev -2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Bottle into pils glass, clear, piss yellow, little head, disappears real fast. zero lace.

S: Slight malt, some citrus, bready.

T: Getting better. First sip reminded me of any American adjuct lager I have ever had. Plain, uninspiring. Then after the second quaff, I realized it actually had a slight hop bite, and some bready/biscuit thing going on.

M: Super clean, crisp. No aftertaste.

D: Very clean, and decent. Easy to nail a bunch of these guys. i normally can't stand to drink a beer from the bottle, but, would have no trouble with this. Will buy again, once it gets hot in here in St. Louis...sometimes, a guy just needs an easy drinking, lower ABV, plain old American macro style lager. This, and PBR do it for me.

KI9A, Apr 07, 2009
Photo of bort11
3.98/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle poured into a pilsener glass. Thin white head, quickly recedes. Thin cap sits on the surface. Clear dull straw yellow color.

Smell is a dry biscuit with hint of lemon. Taste is more lemony. Very crisp, finishes dry.

I had a few of these the night before, straight from the bottle. I think beers like these are better straight from the container. There was more of a bready malt character. This is a good yard beer. Not as good as my favorite, Hamm's. but good.

Blipped "Mucho Gusto" by the Aquabats

bort11, Apr 06, 2009
Photo of MikeInIowa
3.8/5  rDev +7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I tried Schlitz. I had seen it on the shelves all my life, but I and so many of the cohorts of my generation were warned that Schlitz was a skunk of beer, and it was not to be imbibed unless one was dehydrated and in danger of metabolic acidosis.

Schlitz used to have a really bad rap -- like Blue Ribbon, Old Style and Old Milwaukee and other beers that are generally not regarded among the high-end labels.

If you think you know Schlitz, you don't. The 1960's formula is well-worth the purchase of a sixer, and I feel that you will be pleasantly surprised. I surely was. And the message here is that we should not be beer snobs about anything out there. Give something a try and if you hate, you hate, but don't let my or someone else's opinion influence your sampling. Give them all a whirl and make your own judgements accordingly.

With Respect for Beer,

MikeInIowa, Apr 01, 2009
Photo of middlecreekguy
3.43/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

The new Schlitz is everything I had hoped it would be and MORE! Like one reviewer said earlier, it tastes like the first beer I remember drinking as a teen. A grainy malt flavor in the back of the palate with a stronger than usual fresh hop bite up front.

I had a few of these back in my college days and I thought it was awful. And it was. But this new brew is on par with Coors, Bud or Miller...if that's saying anything.

Perfect beer to ice down and throw back a 6pk or two during those hot muggy summers in the south. If you like hops like I do, then this is the new lawn mower beer for you.

middlecreekguy, Mar 31, 2009
Photo of tjkurz
3.4/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I had to call in a favor to get the old time formula - sold in bottles, not cans - in time for the fourth. I was actually shocked by the quality of this beer - not that it was that high quality - just much higher than I expected. I reviewed this side by side with my favorite picnic beer - Pabst in tall boys.

Appearance - fairly deep gold a tad hazy. Head was impressive as left lace through the drinking. Carbonation noticably rising from the bottom.

Aroma - deep grains, some hops, a tad nut

Taste - Flavor actually exists malts near front of mouth - nice bit of bitter hop action at back of the throat - kind of tastes like the first beer I had as a kid.

Mouthfeel - deep and substantial for a macro lager nicely carbed

Drinkability - for all its pluses I can't see drinking all that many of these - maybe its all the old timers telling me schlitz old formula gave a lot of people head aches - but its one of those beers that I don't react well with.

tjkurz, Mar 28, 2009
Photo of hoppyhobby
4/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - A clear crystal clear yellow color with a large creamy white head

S - It smells like it's old advertisement "Just a kiss of hops.".

T - This one is the best of the domestic brews (Miller, Bud, Coors etc.). I'm so glad that they brought this one back as it brings back old memories. They definitely nailed the original flavor and this is truly a session beer in that your can have more than one of while sitting in your lawn chair after cutting the grass on a hot summer day.

M - Clean and crisp. Not overpowering and is one of the best in it's category (a fizzy yellow domestic beer).

D- A very drinkable session (domestic) beer. Please don't let this one go into hibernation again.

hoppyhobby, Mar 19, 2009
Photo of Windigstadt
4.38/5  rDev +23.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a brilliantly clear pale straw color. A soapy white head quickly dissipates.

S: A nice malt aroma; sweet and bready without any hint of DMS or adjuncts; also none of that astringent, cat-piss-like aroma you get from a lot of macro lagers.

T: A little herbal, slightly hay-like hop flavor up front that quickly gives way to malt sweetness. Very clean and smooth in the middle; a nice malt flavor, not heavy but without any hint of rice or corn. Sweetness gives way to just enough hop bitterness to keep this from being cloying. Finish is medium dry with a slight astringency, but leaving you ready for more.

M: Thin and fizzy; on par for a macro lager.

D: More flavorful than your Bud/Miller/Coors, but not heavy by any means. Definitely quaffable.

Overall: It's really hard to find any faults with this beer. While it's thinner and lighter than, say, a true Munich Helles, it shares many of the same qualities--just scaled down. Overall, however, I'd have to say this is exceptional for its style. Whereas I generally consider the best macro lagers to simply be the least offensive, this is affirmatively good. I would take this hands down over the typical macro swill available at your corner tavern. I really, REALLY hope they start carrying this at my local bowling alley.

Windigstadt, Feb 24, 2009
Photo of robbyc1
3.35/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Had this in a Schitz glass at Mike's Highway Pub on tap.

A--Golden and transparent...slightly darker than pale yellow. Substantial carbonation, nice off-white head with some lace. Not a great look but not bad.

S--Yeah! - takes me back many years to my high school time. Grainy, mild malt with a sweetness, some adjunct noted. A slight nose of hops, not much.

T--There is a smooth richness and maltiness, mildly bitter and metallic at the end. It has about 1/3 of the ingredients that say Sam Adams Lager has, but in the right balance. Adjunct sweetness balances.

M--Light bodied, soft and slick on the tongue, satisfying and much better than most Macro's I can think of.

D--Very nice with food, one to savor of this style. I wouldn't go out of the way for it but I wouldn't kick it out of "bed".

robbyc1, Feb 23, 2009
Photo of BierFan
3.55/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 ounce twist-off brown bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: Snow-white head. Fairly good head retention. Clear golden body that shows off some decent carbonation.

Smell: Aroma of malts and adjunct. I can't tell if the adjuncts are of the corn or rice variety. It might be both.

Taste: Petty flavorful and drinkable for an adjunct lager. It seems more substantial than many others of the same style. I'd probably give it a 4 out of 5 on the taste if it had a bigger bitter finish.

BierFan, Feb 20, 2009
Photo of SiphonKing
3.5/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

I'm a craft beer and beer snob first and foremost. So understanding that I like a Hopdevil or a good Rodenbach is key to the fact that any good beer can be balanced with the quintessential lawnmower/party beer. As for this beer I give it high marks because it takes a lot to make a beer that will show imperfections as much as a pimple will always rear it's ugly head on prom night. This beer pours clean and clear with a fine head in the right pilsner glass (I happen to own a Schlitz glass). Taste of malt and corn with a light-bodied finish. Not for the hopheads, the Belgian freaks, or the barrel-aged fanatic. This is 1960 in a bottle ready for summer and a stroll through suburbia. So sit back and have a brewski with the bud's and enjoy...

SiphonKing, Feb 14, 2009
Photo of larsee01
3.53/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into tall pilsner glass

A--Golden and transparent...slightly darker than straw. Substantial carbonation. Big-bubbled head calming down after 1 min

S--Mild w/sweet adjunct. No big surprise. Grainy and a tad of detectable alcohol. No distinguishable hoppiness. Maybe a bit of iron scent w/ ghosts of malt.

T--Ooh...not bad! There is a smooth richness and malty robustness to this. Mildly bitter and metallic, but essentially neutral. Adjunct sweetness balances. Rich, malty/grainy in finish.

M--Light-to-medium bodied, in the idea that I expected this to be much lighter bodied. Thicker viscosity. Rich and not wimpy. Satisfying.

D--Yes, but not necessarily a slammer. Stop to enjoy it. I get what they're doing here. Obvious parallels in taste, quality, image to High Life...and that is totally fine by me!

larsee01, Jan 18, 2009
Photo of cadizkyguy
4.2/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

What can u say about Schlitz Gusto (the 60s formula in a bottle)? Well, if it was good enough for my late father and grandfather to drink, then I must say it's good enough for me. I was excited when i found out Schlitz was going to bottle its old formula and the beer lives up to the hype, at least for me. I gave a couple of warm bottles of this stuff to my neighbor to put in his fridge, but he couldn't wait and drank 'em warm and he loved them. I prefer to drink my beer cold, and it's pleasure in every sip. Maybe I'm just being nostalgic but I do like this beer enough to give it high marks across the board. It's definitely not the beer Schlitz brews in a can. I picked up a 12-pack at Delock's Liquors in Munster, Indiana over the Christmas holidays and I plan on getting more on my next trip north.

cadizkyguy, Dec 31, 2008
Photo of Mistofminn
3.85/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I may have reviewed the normal Schlitz with the 60's formula. Nevertheless here I go.

If this was the same beer, then this must have been a different batch. I liked this much better than the previous bottle I had.

It is a cheap macro that is widely available in the midwest. For being what it is and compared to the rest of the style, it is a step above the competition. There is a slightly bitter taste that I was not prepared for but welcomed. Great macro. May have to become my go to beer.

Mistofminn, Dec 22, 2008
Photo of bluejacket74
3.68/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 ounce bottle, served in a Sam Adams BL glass. The beer pours a clear gold color with about an inch frothy white head. Head retention and lacing are both decent. The aroma is sweet malt and grain/adjuncts. Not an offensive aroma, but not exactly pleasing either. It tastes like grain/corn, sweet malt and a bit of lemon and hops. Mouthfeel is light, has a clean finish and isn't watery. Drinkability is pretty good, it wouldn't be hard to drink as a session beer at all. I wouldn't mind having this as a summer/lawnmower beer. For the style, it's pretty good. I think it's a good macro/adjunct lager, the next time I'm in the mood for this style of beer I'd definitely pick this up. It's better than I was expecting, and it's certainly a step up from most BMC beers of the same style.

bluejacket74, Dec 20, 2008
Schlitz Gusto (Classic 1960's Formula) from JOS. Schlitz Brewing Co. (Pabst)
81 out of 100 based on 420 ratings.